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Bodum Bistro electric burr coffee grinder, aluminium

Pros: attractive design, quiet operation, exceptional results
Cons: not the most intuitive controls

Overall rating: 5/5

We were really impressed by the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder. There’s a huge contrast between the machine’s coarsest grind and its finest; the coarser settings create big chunks of bean and silverskin chaff, which look beautiful and work really well in a French press. Meanwhile, the finest settings produce grounds powdery enough for use in an espresso machine.

Rather than a series of steps, the machine uses a spectrum, which gives a level of control not normally available with an electric grinder. That said, there are markers for settings to grind coffee appropriately for espresso machines, cafetières and filters, and this guide will be all most users need to find the right setting for their purposes.

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To use the Bistro grinder, you’ll also need to select a grind duration using a dial, before hitting the second of two power buttons. With its variety of settings, this isn’t the simplest of coffee grinders to master, thankfully a chart on the lid demystifies the process of selecting a time that suits your chosen grind setting and the quantity of coffee being made.

With grind times ranging from 10-40 seconds and a coffee bean fill level of up to 220g, this is an outstandingly efficient machine. Another winning feature of this grinder is that it is impressively quiet for such a powerful appliance. And since you’ll only need to use it for 10 seconds to grind enough coffee for a three-cup cafetière or round of espressos, the noise probably won’t cause any complaints.

The main body of the Bistro is uniformly encased in a solid, attractive layer of aluminium. The hard, plastic coffee bean container and ground coffee container that slot into the machine feel tough as well, and although the lid is a little flimsy, that part of the grinder seems unlikely to ever be put under much strain.

Cleaning the grinder is relatively simple. The ground coffee container is cylindrical, which means it has no corners for grounds to get stuck in; and the grinding gear can be taken out and cleaned with a soft-bristled brush. Incidentally, the grinding gear won’t start unless the bean container is securely attached above it – an important point for safety.

Bodum coffee grinding machine being turned on

The Bistro’s footprint is relatively small for a sophisticated, electric burr grinder – ideal for storage on a shelf or work surface. It’s the best-looking we’ve seen, and assuming you agree with us on that point, you may want to leave it out on display.

Every now and then a chip of stone will find its way into a shipment of coffee beans. The Bodum Bistro’s impressive friction clutch feature is designed to deal with this eventuality, shutting off the grinding gear to limit the damage.

The amount of cardboard packaging used with this product is relatively high, though this seems acceptable considering the value of the appliance – and especially since the packaging is recyclable.

Grinder type: burr
Grind settings: manual (fine to coarse)
Time settings: variable (5-20 seconds)
Power: 160W
Capacity: 227g
Dimensions: H27.5cm x W15.6cm x D12cm

Read our full review of the best coffee grinders

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This review was last updated in July 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at

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